Critiquing Marx’s s theories…but giving a pass to his empirical studies….
January 23, 2019
Readers of a blog criticizing Marx from the left get discombobulated and I can sympathize in some ways! The point here is that the criticism is mostly of Marx’s theories which are naive and confused over Newtonian causal issues, as are most
‘theories’ of history. After ten years deciphering the ‘eonic effect’ I am rarely if ever impressed by attempts at historical theory. NOONE can get the question right, for reasons the eonic model makes clear, without being another theory. The ‘theory’ of historical materialism and stages of production theory impressed the nineteenth century but seem dated now, a moment in the rise of post-Hegelian positivism and scientism. You can’t reduce history to economic issues, eliminate idealism in favor of old-fashioned materialism, prophesy future communism without defining it, etc… The left cannot transform society with that legacy, so once that sinks in a new platform must be developed.
It is a dismal legacy, and yet Marxists tend to bestow misplaced reverence to a figure that has passed into history. But Marxists could perform a service by simply discarding the theories and focusing on Marx’s empirical work: his thought on issues of class, exploitation, etc, have survived better than his theoretical monstrosities and speak
directly to a descriptive perspective. A selection of Marx’s empirical ideas and studies could be a useful summary of the legacy and a way to pass on: a new generation has to stop its misplaced cult worship of a holy founder in the religion of Marxism. The issue now is postcapitalism and we need to escape the dead hand of marxist regurgitators, who have botched every opportunity they had to create socialism. It is a horrendous legacy. We can’t afford another bungled marxist attempt to create a world beyond capitalism.